Golf Course Builders Association of America celebrates 40th anniversary in 2011

The Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) is pleased to announce it will be celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2011.

“A lot of hard work has been put in by a lot of good people over the last four decades to get the GCBAA to where it is today,” said Paul Foley, executive director. “It is our past successes that have set us up for a bright future as the leader in advancing the profession of golf course construction.”

The GCBAA was founded in 1970 by nine individuals in Washington D.C. under its original name, the Golf Course Builders of America (GCBA) and officially formed in 1971. At the time, there were very few golf course construction specialists as most golf courses were built by road and subdivision site contractors. Simply put, there was nowhere to learn the fine points of landscape contracting on such a large, complex and precise scale.

By 1983, membership increased to 28 companies. It added an executive director for the first time in 1984, Don Rossi. In the next seven years, the group’s membership nearly doubled to 55. The next year, 1991, the group officially changed its name to Golf Course Builders Association of America.

The following years saw dramatic increases in membership and growing visibility in the golf industry thanks in large part to the GCBAA’s Builder Certification Program. Established in 1992, this program quickly became known in the industry for its recognition of high-quality golf course builders.

Today, after four decades, the GCBAA has more than 375 member companies and has broadened its membership to include suppliers, consultants, builders, and contractors in nearly every state with an international presence in 17 countries as well.

Other highlights of the GCBAA’s first 40 years include:

• The creation of the Don A. Rossi Humanitarian Award in 1991, Rossi, former president of the National Golf Foundation from 1970 to 1983and executive director of the GCBAA from 1984 to 1990. The award is given annually by the GCBAA to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the game of golf and its growth.

• The association began publishing its newsletter, EarthShaping News, in 1991.

• The association’s first Certified Builders were announced in 1993. Both recipients, Golf Development Construction and Wadsworth Golf Construction, still hold that title today.

• In 1994, a year when the National Golf Foundation reported 484 new courses were under construction, the first GCBAA Guide for Estimating Golf Course Construction was released with 6 revised editions; the latest being released at the 2011 Golf Industry Show in Orlando.

• Sticks for Kids, a GCBAA Foundation program that seeks to teach the game of golf to children, was created in 1996. Through 2010, Sticks for Kids has taught golf to more than 300,000 children at more than 500 sites worldwide.

About the GCBAA and the GCBAA Foundation
The Golf Course Builders Association of America is a non-profit trade association of the world’s foremost golf course builders and leading suppliers to the golf course construction industry. It was founded in the early 1970s and its members represent all segments of the golf course industry. The GCBAA Foundation is the charitable arm of the GCBAA and a separate, 501(c)(3) organization. The GCBAA’s national executive office is located in Lincoln, Neb. For more information, visit or call (402) 476-4444.

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